Saturday, June 15, 2013

Movie review: Premium Rush

Wait a second... another actual movie!  Something's wrong here.  Something's gone terribly, terribly wrong.
Anyway, better hurry up and squeeze this one out.  Unfortunately, the latest effort from highly successful writer David Koepp died a quick death at the box office if memory serves, but he can at least get a good night's sleep knowing that it was all part of a banner year in general for Tommy Solomon of Third Rock from the Sun (the half-ass normal one), Joseph Gordon-Levitt... I'm sorry, I mean JoGoLev.  In addition to Premium Rush, the last Batman, a Spielberg movie, and a decent Bruce Willis movie for a change, Gordon-Levitt had four big-ass movies in 2012.
Now, for those of you out there who are Quicksilver loyalists, I understand your frustration, and I won't even go into the differences betwixt the two, of which there are probably a few.  But don't worry, because even though Premium Rush is mostly non-stop action, they do take some time to stop and smell the roses, or revel in being a young adrenaline junkie, which is still legal as far as I know.  He'll put on the suit someday and work in an office, Gordon-Levitt's character tells us in narration at one point.  But for now, quite the opposite.
It's your standard screenplay formula: we get an introductory episode to introduce the main characters and the basic setup... and then we get the episode that will consume the rest of the movie, like a Florida python on Grandma's cat.  We get a peek into the seamy underbelly of Chinese corruption in New York City... I think it's Chinese, anyhow.  Why they didn't get James Hong to play the big boss I'll never know.  I guess he couldn't get insurance or something.  They certainly got someone who kinda looked like him, but I... oh, dear, I better quit while I'm ahead.
Oh, and JoGoLev's character is named Wilee... yes, like Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.  But really, he's more like the Road Runner in this particular show.  Dirty but bumbling cop Michael Shannon ends up being the Wile E. Coyote.  Some called his performance comical, but I found him to be menacing enough.  Nice to see he's a little bit animated, anyway, and not totally acting like Steven Wright as so many of his generation seem to.
As with Ghost Town, The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi has a meaty role, this time as the dispatcher that Wilee works for.  Oh, this kid's secured his place in the industry, methinks.  His character's named Raj... wow!  What a colorful name!  I guess just calling him Aasif would've smacked of effort.  And, as with Spider Man 2, the whole movie kind of reminded me of Spider Man 2's opening scene.  The thrill of racing through city traffic, the mad attempts to make the deadline.  Wilee's main squeeze is Vanessa, played by Dania Ramirez.  Oh, she's the new J. Lo, no question.
What else?  Nothing sticks in memory's craw... okay, the part where Wilee has to calculate the best course of action in a split second... which way does he swerve and do the least damage?  That, and the zooming map of the city.  Take that, Google Earth!  Movies still kick a little ass that way.  As for what happens to the bad guy, well... I'll try not to give too much away, but as much as I booed and hissed at him, I couldn't help but think to myself... this is America, damn it.  Bad guys don't deserve to go out that way.  The slow wheels of justice!  That's the gears he should get crushed in!
Anyway, to sum up, I think this David Koepp's going to survive... why, look!  He's already hard at work on his next project: Snow White and the Huntsman Part Two!  I guess Bella Swan didn't like working with Bill Condon that much after all.  Three stars.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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